12 Feb 3 Important Ergonomic Factors that Can Prevent Workplace Injury
Ergonomics is the science of designing the workspace to fit the specific needs of each employee. When ergonomics is overlooked, you can develop problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, neck strains or lower back injuries, resulting in decreased productivity and potential workplace injury. When considering ergonomic factors in designing your workspace, you need to think about three important things: the seat, the surface, and the screen.
Often, small but impactful adjustments to a seat (task chair) are enough to solve a problem. For example, you can choose an active use, instead of passive use, task chair by selecting an adjustable, flexible chair that allows you to move and change positions to fit your body and provide the most support.
Attaching movable arms to your monitors provides flexibility, helping avoid problematic positions and increasing the overall work surface by getting the monitors off of the desk and closer to the user. If monitors are too low or far away, the user is less likely to sit back in their task chair to get the full benefits of using both.
Work surfaces of fixed-height desks are often too high, resulting in hunched shoulders, overextended arms, and an increased risk of injury. Standing desks come with their own injuries to the feet, ankles, shins, and knees. Since our bodies are not meant to sit or stand for eight hours a day, there is a best-of-both-worlds option: the sit-stand adjustable-height desk.
In addition to these ergonomic changes, designing your space to encourage as much movement as possible will pay off. Our bodies need to move at least 8-10 minutes every hour. Putting space between your workstation and the printer, for example, gives you an opportunity to walk and loosen stiff muscles before returning to a sitting or standing position.
In the end, considering ergonomics and encouraging movement will save you a lot of pain and money.